A Comprehensive POE Process for Investigating Service Efficiency based on Universal Design Principles: A Case Study of Public Zones in Naresuan University Hospital

  • YEAR
    2016
  • AUTHORS
    Phaholthep, Charanya
    Sawadsri, Antika
    Skates, Henry
  • CATEGORIES
    2016 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science and Design Assessments
    Conference Papers

Extract

It is widely recognized that public hospitals are not only responsible for quality medical treatment, but that they should also be as inclusive as possible in providing access for all. Unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, a quality service is not always provided. When measurement or evaluation of the service quality in healthcare organizations is carried out, it is mostly conducted in terms of medical service quality, whilst the physical layout, functionality and facilitating devices are not given as much scrutiny. Likewise, with Post Occupancy Evaluation, the majority of studies report on user perceived comfort, health and productivity and Universal Design is given little or no attention. The objective of this study is to investigate in a comprehensive way how the physical features, functionality and facilitating devices affect accessibility to medical services in the public zones of Naresuan University Hospital in Phitsanulok Thailand, and to propose changes that could improve service efficacy. The research is based on an empirical study using a new comprehensive combination of techniques based on qualitative methods and includes; identification of the general problem within NU Hospital public zones, an experimental access audit by participants with physical limitations, an evaluation of the physical features, functions accessible design using the seven principles of Universal Design (UD7), a comparative study between international standards for hospital design and the as-built hospital, and a comparison between recommended space per person(referring to best practice flow capacities) and actual usage. Problems that were identified include a lack of or poorly located specific devices that provide aid to disabled users, obstructions to and overcrowding in principal communication spaces reducing service efficacy, and poor people management practice exacerbating the above problems and contributing to less than satisfactory access for disabled users. By applying UD7 best practice to the existing layout and proposing small inexpensive design changes, it is estimated that service efficiency and universal access could be vastly improved.

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